New license paves way for amateur athletes to play in pro leagues

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
New license paves way for amateur athletes to play in pro leagues
Juan Gomez de Liaño
Courtesy of Chooks-to-Go

MANILA, Philippines — Thanks to the Games and Amusements Board’s Special Guest License or SGL, amateur athletes can now play in the professional leagues.

“All around the world, we’re seeing the blurring of the lines (between amateur and professional), so why don’t we give them the bridge,” said Atty. Ermar Benitez, GAB’s legal head.

“This is a bridge that they can take advantage of,” he added.

Actually, the first to avail it was University of the Philippines’ Juan Gomez de Liano, who suited up in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup, a pro league, in Calamba, Laguna early this month.

And possibly, the NCAA is mulling the possibility of having its student athletes avail of the SGL.

“Amateurism is an anachronistic concept. College sports have some characteristics similar to pro sports. Nevertheless, as a school-based association, we will try our best to protect amateur status,” said NCAA Management Committee chair Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, of Season 96 host Letran.

“But times have changed. We have to adapt to the spirit of the times and we hope to find ways to maintain our status and at the same time adapting to present realities,” he added.
Calvo said there is “80 percent chance” the league will approve of this.

The UAAP, at press time, has not yet commented on this matter.

But if it avails, the student athletes can earn extra money in the pros.





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